The Town of Cameron announced the hiring of a part-time police chief, discussed accounting concerns and voted to create a historical committee at its Oct. 26 meeting.

Jay Yarbrough was offered the job of police chief and will start in the coming weeks. Yarbrough is also taking a position in Montgomery County.

Biscoe Police Chief Shane Armstrong said in a phone call to Sandhills Sentinel that they have put in all the paperwork for Yarbrough to work in Biscoe full-time. Yarbrough’s health insurance and benefits will be covered with his full-time employment, allowing affordability for the Town of Cameron to hire him part-time. Yarbrough previously worked in Wadesboro.

Commissioner David Seiberling said Yarbrough was highly recommended, energetic, has been highly involved in the highway safety program and was also an excellent grant writer.

The town will build an evidence room in the police station and tune up the police car in preparation for the police chief.

In other matters, the town is a month late on its audit and is facing a $25,000 late fee. The town had been waiting for Triangle J to prepare accounting statements for the audit and suggested the town purchase an updated software package to streamline the process.

Mayor Jim Leiby said if the town adopts using the Southern Software at $2,500 per year, Triangle J said it can complete the audit in one year.

The town will discuss the accounting audit with the previous accountant, Jyoti Singh, CPA, of Sanford, and with Triangle J before making a decision on purchasing the software.

The town is also contacting with Singh to discuss contracting her services as the town’s regular accountant for payroll, bookkeeping, and the budget at a rate of $1,390 monthly.

The town will purchase a new Ford F250 with a 4WD towing package at $29,475 for the public works. It is expected to be delivered in March 2022.

The Pines Preservation Guild representatives Leslie Brians and Emily Yopp, who is the town clerk for Carthage, offered assistance to the town in the creation of a historical committee.

“We thoroughly support creating an overlay to preserve historic treasures,” Yopp said.

The Pines Preservation Guild offered to hold classes to help the historic committee establish protocols and procedures.

“Some residents need to be fined for not holding up the properties. New people are moving in, and homes can be torn down,” Cameron resident Amber Siecinski said. “A historical committee can help stop that.”

The Town of Cameron is on the National Register of Historic Places and has historic structures in need of repairs, including Miss Belle’s Tea Room, which is no longer operating. Miss Belle’s Tea Room was owned and operated by Isabelle Thomas, who worried in this 2016 video about the preservation of the historic district. Preservation efforts faded after Thomas died, and the town is now trying to generate activism.

There was discussion about the preservation of one of the oldest historic structures, the Greenwood Inn, ca. 1874, and that the owner may consider selling the property.

Hardy Gulf, ca. 1940, is being offered for sale again, and the town discussed it adjoining the town’s property and possible uses. Public works could use it for equipment storage, and its storefront area could be used as retail for town revenue, with suggestions of a coffee shop and Saturday farmers market. The property was rented by the town in the past for $2,400 a year.

Hardy Gulf, ca. 1940, is on Main Street in Cameron and is being offered for sale again after being newly purchased and some repairs made. Photo by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers.

The recently held Cameron Antique Street Fair went well according to Commissioner Joey Frutchey.

Town Clerk Wendy Butner said the fair brought in $1,700, and there are still a few bills yet to be paid.

“The numbers were positive. We are in the red, and the biggest concern was policing and future use to demonstrate their presence,” Frutchey said. “Vendors were shocked at the Saturday attendance.”

The town voted to purchase new Christmas lights to replace the deteriorating 1994 lights. They are purchasing LED photo cell lights which do not increase the electric bill. The design is the Double Scroll Candle and is discounted at 33% for a cost of approximately $12,000 and will be up next year.

New Christmas lights for 2022~Sandhills Sentinel/Stephanie M. Sellers.

Mayor Leiby, resident Sylvia Caddell, Ken and Jane Fairbanks of The Old Hardware Store, and MTO Transport owned by Mitch and Tammy Owens pledged to buy one of the lights for the town.

Persons interested in helping the town with its needed 26 Christmas lights may contact Wendy Butner at (910) 245-3212 or [email protected].

The town voted to allow Faith Carlyle, 8, to sell bottled water at Philips Park next summer to raise funds for park management. She will sell at park under trees on pretty days.

Mayor Pro Tempore Ginger Bauerband said the park cannot reserve parking for those renting facilities, and the town will update the park’s protocol for clarity.

The November regular monthly meeting will be held the week before Thanksgiving to accommodate family gatherings.

Feature photo of Cameron Town Hall courtesy of Town of Cameron.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers. You can contact her at [email protected].

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